Departmental Teaching Award for Annie Carter

Citation on Annie Carter’s teaching

Annie Carter has a very serious attitude towards the educational mission of our Department.

Within just two years of time, she has taught a wide variety of courses spanning from MATH 112 to a graduate class.

Annie has demonstrated the will, the ability, and the enthusiasm to do the courses which are notoriously difficult to teach.

In her classes, Dr. Carter introduced innovative teaching techniques such as active learning and flipped classroom.

While very demanding towards the instructor, these techniques engage students into investing more efforts into the class material and entail better learning outcomes.

Certain classes are known to have unique challenges. For example, MATH 321 is very important: that is the class in our curriculum where the students encounter mathematical ways of argumentation, the proofs. For many students, that is a shift of their paradigm towards Mathematics. Annie built the class in a way such that the students were made to discover the new paradigm on their own. Engaging the students into that requires a lot of effort, and offers really unique experience to the students.That requires from the students to invest more efforts into the class, and is not necessarily immediately appreciated by the students. However, in the long run, the concepts discovered by students as a result of their own efforts are more valuable than those learnt as ready to use recipes.

Annie used a similar approach in MATH 112 which is a challenging class to teach even in a traditional way.
On the top of other innovative instructional techniques, Dr. Carter introduced ”projects” in MATH 420.
Better learning outcomes do not come with innovative teaching technologies for free. They demand more work from students, therefore more support from the instructor. Many An- nie’s students across the variety of classes, traditionally and non-traditionally taught, highly appreciate instructor’s support and availability outside the class. Speaking about students’ response, Annie earned high appreciation in classes as different and requiring as different approaches as MATH 420 and MATH 242-243.
Dr Carter’s involvement in our educational efforts is not bound by her teaching. She is interested in educational initiatives in general and often volunteers to be part of such initiatives. In the 2019-20 academic year she was (jointly with Prof. Post) a coordinator of our LA program for MATH 241; there were many difficult and demanding issues to handle that year, and Annie rose to the challenge. Her contributions to the work of the curriculum committee have also been very valuable.

To summarize, Dr. Carter invests a lot into teaching and education. Her hard work, desire to adopt innovative approaches, her willingness to devote her time and efforts won her this year’s teaching award.